Alex Hunter, former head of the online marketing for Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and today a CEO of startup Rushmore.fm, took the floor on RockPaperStartups to talk about getting noticed and standing out of the crowd.
As he says, everybody is trying to achieve an emotional reaction with customers who use the product or brand, but that is rather difficult today. A few decades ago it was much easier to convince users – there were fewer tools through which users were targeted and the marketing campaigns could broadcast almost any message. He pointed to several examples of older ads, such as those for cigarettes, which seem impossible these days.
However today is different – we became resistant to these marketing gimmicks. In 2013. it is not enough to build a good product and expect it to sell itself. The product has to be a way of living and thinking, and the main guiding principle should say – Be positive.
You have to believe in what you are doing, as well as the fact that what you are doing to make a revolution. Failure is not an option!
Do not be so kind to failure
Hunter also commented on the celebration of failure as a way to success. As he says, learning from your own mistakes turned into “you must fail to succeed”. He adds that it’s a completely wrong approach.
Do you know what’s better than a failure? Success! It’s okay to learn from mistakes, but it is more valuable to learn from success. So if something works well, you can do it again. Failure prevents people to take risks. Without risk there is no success.
What you can do is to embrace your community. Communities can be web pages, existing users, future users – you must identify them and understand their needs.
Personalized user access
Showing that you care for your customers can also be a great way to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Whether we are talking about handwritten letters of thanks or a personalized approach, it’s the little things that make all the difference.
If you understand the context that is relevant to your customers users will listen and respond.
Alex also pointed out that you shouldn’t aspire towards mediocrity. Regardless of the type of work you do, it can always be more. It does not matter whether you impact one person or a billion of them. Create feelings, let the people come back. Let them say how good your product is. Feelings sell and often we become “too smart” at marketing that we forget about the human side of the story.